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Alex Chapman - Ski Coach & Director at TipTop Ski Coaching

A British ski instructor with over 15 years of experience

Featured in: | Ana Hernández, Les 2 Alpes Editor | Published

Alex has been teaching sports for over 20 years and snowsports for more than 15 years, so her experience makes her a great choice when looking for an instructor in Les Deux Alpes.

TipTop Ski Coaching offers all sorts of lessons and guided adventures, from group and private ski lessons to off-piste escapades and instructor training and exams as a BASI Business Partner. Alex's qualification as a BASI Level 4 ski instructor with full French equivalence and her passion for the mountains make her the perfect person to go down your first pistes with or to tackle challenging backcountry adventures.

Eager to know more about her unique approach to teaching and skiing, as well as her insider tips for enjoying a holiday in Les 2 Alpes, we decided to ask her some questions

A personal coaching experience in the French Alps

TipTop Ski School, 2 Alpes Region

Tell us a little bit about your business, how it started out and where you're based. Why did you choose to set up business in the Alps?
I am based at Les Deux Alpes and run TipTop Ski Coaching. I first came to Les Deux Alpes in 2005 (I think!) and haven’t left! I have worked for various ski schools but, as my client base grew and my interests diversified, the obvious thing to do was to open my own ski school, and this is where TipTop Ski Coaching was born! TipTop Ski Coaching isn’t a regular ski school offering run of the mill ski lessons, it's a very personal coaching experience that is tailored to the individual's needs! I also have a “virtual training” module on my site which allows people to benefit from our excellent coaching from afar!

What were you doing before?
Before arriving in the Alps I was working in sports development in London.

Why did you decide to start your own ski instructing business?
I wanted to be able to offer a better customer service to my clients and have more flexibility in what I could offer, and when. The virtual training module allows me to continue to help people even when they are in the UK on artificial slopes or on holidays in other resorts, it allows me to offer a better and more extensive service to TipTop clients.

What is special about your business? What sets you apart from everyone else?
We have a true passion for both skiing and teaching and take as much enjoyment out of our clients' successes as they do. We work tirelessly with people to achieve their goals, be this to become a better skier, enjoy skiing, conquer a particular run or smile and laugh all the way down to apres ski!

What is in store for the future with your business, any exciting projects in the pipelines that you can share with us?
We are very much hoping that the virtual training will take off and become an app in due course. In resort, we hope to grow our client base and share our passion for the mountains and skiing with as many people as possible!

Working with skiers in the Les 2 Alps

TipTop Ski School, 2 Alpes Region

What makes Les 2 Alpes such a special place to be for a ski instructor compared to other resorts?
I love Les Deux Alpes for many reasons, not only that it is now home! The skiing is fantastic with a great turn around on suitable pistes for teaching/training and plenty of accessible off-piste skiing and, of course, the legendary La Grave is also accessible from Les Deux Alpes. 

Do the particularities of the 2 Alpes mountains influence the range of lessons you offer?
Les Deux Alpes has something for everyone, from beginners to trainee instructors to adrenalin junkies. I love the variety Les Deux Alpes offers and love sharing this with my clients, friends and family.

Can you tell us about any especially interesting groups you've provided instruction for? Any anecdotes?
Every ski instructor has some good stories to tell, but one of mine would have to be teaching a group of children who I met at their chalet all kitted up by their parents and off we went to the slopes. There seemed to be some trouble getting the skis on so I set to check that they had the right skis. The mysterious thing was that most of them could get one and not the other ski on, even though it seemed to be the right ski. Then, on closer inspection, I realised they all had odd boots on! So we had to sit at the side of the piste and take everyone's boots off to try to work out who should be in which boot! - the passers-by must have thought I was delivering a very odd lesson!

Insider's tips for our readers

A view from the apartment

Do you remember your first time in the Les 2 Alpes?
Yes, it was a few years ago now but I remember it like yesterday. You might say it was my second step towards becoming a ski instructor. What struck me then and still now is the kindness of the locals.

What is your favourite area within the 2 Alpes ski resort? Why?
Hum, that is a difficult question as I love it all. I would have to say the area I love most has fresh tracks, face shots and smiles from everyone. I’d be letting on all my secrets if I told you where this is!

Any pistes that you prefer? And off-piste areas?
This as above and also very much depending on the conditions/weather of the day! I also love a top to bottom perfect corduroy piste - only found first thing in the morning but a great warm up before lessons!

What would a perfect day out in the mountains be for you?
My perfect day was the day I met my husband skiing the Aguille Rouge followed by lunch in Venosc! It was only when I went to pay for my lunch and it was paid that I started to put 2 and 2 together, there were a lot of questions from the others in the group as to my “status, boyfriend or not!” and my lunch was mysteriously paid... the rest is history shall we say!

Any restaurant in the valley that you can recommend for a special occasion?
My favourite restaurant for a special occasion would have been the Raisin d’Ours. The chef/owner has now moved on and is running the Hotel Chamois this year so I’m looking forward to going and trying it out!

For fondue?
A cheese fondue - everyone's favourite: Le Cellier!

Where will we find the best coffee or hot chocolate?
The best place for coffee, hot chocolate and atmosphere is Laurie's Sweet Coffee. The drinks are great and the welcome is even better!

And a great bar for a drink?
My local would always be the Polar Bear.

Where would you go to get your equipment serviced?
Jaques Sport has the best ski servicing machine in town.

What's your favourite thing to do in resort when not skiing?
When I can’t ski, I love to enjoy a beer by the open fire in the Polar Bear or a hot chocolate with marshmallows in Laurie's Sweet Coffee Shop.

If someone was coming here for the first time, what would you suggest they absolutely must do or see in resort?
Well, firstly they must book a lesson with TipTop Ski Coaching, of course! And then, I’ll let them into all the secrets on and off the mountain!

Finally, give us a top tip to go skiing in Les 2 Alpes
Book with TipTop Ski Coaching and benefit from our excellent coaching and customer service. We are happy to recommend hotels, restaurants, bars, activities, childcare and more and most importantly we will ensure your time on the hill is the best! #skiwiththebest